The iconic broadcast journalist celebrated her 91st birthday on Friday, September 25, with no friends or family in sight, OK! has learned.
"She’s in bad, bad shape," discloses an OK! source, adding that no guests came to her apartment to mark the milestone. "She seems lonely and spends most of her time alone."
More than four years after slipping into hiding, Barbara Walters resides in her New York City apartment as she appears to suffer from advanced dementia and heart problems. Radar previously reported that one of her only sources of contact is a butler, who controls the star's affairs and turns away potential guests from her home.
"Friends have not spoken with Barbara in two years," a source exclusively told Radar Online in 2019. "They’re really heartbroken about it, and don’t understand why they can’t visit her." While a close friend tried reaching out to The Today Show alum, they said they only received a "truly bizarre" curt email in return from her staffers that read: "Dictated from Barbara, she says thank you."
Now, close friends read the obituaries in fear that The View co-host's name will one day be included. "They believe it’s the only way they would find out if something happened," the source explained.
The ailing host's memory began dwindling in 2013. "Barbara suffers from exhaustion and fatigue, as well as anxiety and agitation," an insider told Radar. "She’s very frail and spends a great deal of the day napping!"
While protective pals insist that the Television Hall of Famer is fine, a source disclosed, "Barbara is fading a little more every day. She’s close to the end and her team is scrambling to manage affairs just the way Barbara would want them.
"Sadly, her dementia has been getting worse. Her caretakers give her the opportunity to make everyday decisions, but more often than not she’ll stare at them blankly," the source added. Walters rarely leaves her bed, "spends most of the day looking out her windows," and rarely recognizes her famous friends, according to Radar.
Another source dished that after pal Whoopi Goldberg stopped by in 2019 to check-in, the visit sent the media powerhouse into a screaming fit. One source explained that Walters "wouldn't stop" screaming and "no one could calm her down." Goldberg, 64, "excused herself from the room," according to the insider. "She was heartbroken by what she saw."
While friends and family want to be there and celebrate the author, the Radar report said she is busy planning her own funeral. The legend is a "total control freak" and is making sure "every single detail" has been spelled out, "from the flowers to the venue to the guests and even who she wants to sing," a source told Radar.
Walters became the first female co-anchor of a nightly network newscast in 1976. She won Daytime and Prime Time Emmy Awards for her respectable work and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. In May 2010, the TV personality had open-heart surgery to correct a faulty valve. Four years later, she retired from The View and Here's Barbara.